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Pulm Pharmacol Ther. 2009 Apr;22(2):159-62. doi: 10.1016/j.pupt.2008.11.005. Epub 2008 Nov 21.

Speech pathology for chronic cough: a new approach.

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Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Diseases, John Hunter Hospital University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW, Australia.


Chronic cough may persist despite systematic evaluation and medical treatment of known associated diseases such as asthma, rhinitis, and gastro-esophageal reflux. These patients have refractory chronic cough and many exhibit laryngeal hypersensitivity that is manifest at both a sensory and motor level. Examples of this are heightened sensitivity of the cough reflex to capsaicin, and laryngeal motor dysfunction with hoarse vocal quality and paradoxical vocal cord movement. Chronic cough that persists despite medical treatment may respond to speech pathology intervention. A multidimensional speech pathology treatment programme was designed based upon methods used to treat hyperfunctional voice disorders and paradoxical vocal fold movement. This included education, vocal hygiene training, cough suppression strategies and psychoeducational counseling. When tested in a single-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial involving 87 patients, participants in the treatment group demonstrated a significant reduction in cough, breathing, voice and upper airway symptoms following intervention, as well as improvements in auditory perceptual ratings of voice quality (breathy, rough, strain and glottal fry) and significant improvement in voice acoustic parameters (maximum phonation time, jitter and harmonic-to-noise ratio). Speech pathology intervention can be an effective way to treat refractory chronic cough.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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